You will be baptized in the Holy Spirit. [Acts 11:16]

What is baptism?*

Baptism is more than water. It is water used according to God’s command, connected with God’s Word, and granting God’s promised blessing of the Holy Spirit.

And Jesus came and said to them, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” [see Matthew 28:18-20]

God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts. [Galatians 4:6]

What benefit does baptism grant?

Through baptism, the Holy Spirit forgives your sins, redeems you from death and the devil, restores you to wholeness, and gives you eternal salvation.

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you. [Romans 8:11]

How can water do such great things?

The water does not do it. God’s Holy Spirit is in, with, and amidst the water. For without the promised Holy Spirit, the baptism is just plain water. But through the Word of God it is the grace-filled fountain of life in the Holy Spirit.

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is sure. [Titus 3:4-8]

How can I enjoy the benefits of baptism daily?

Each day God drowns the old self with all its sins and sorrows, and each day God raises up a new person to enjoy the fullness of life with God.

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. [Romans 6:3-4]

Personal Devotion — Holy Spirit, whenever I wash, remind me that you have cleansed me from sin. Help me appreciate the new life you are raising up in me each day. Amen.


* This article is adapted from Luther’s Small Catechism